Welcome to Mackinac Straits Fish Company

Our family at Mackinac Straits Fish Company is proud to bring fresh, high quality whitefish to your table. We use fish harvested from the cold, clear waters of the Upper Great Lakes, and we process them at our manufacturing facility located in St. Ignace, Michigan.

We process our fish within mere hours of being netted to assure optimal freshness. We use indigenous hardwoods, primarily sugar maple, in our smokehouse to give our products their distinctive flavor. Mackinac Straits' Whitefish Fillets, Lake Links and Whitecaps Spread are truly a taste of the very essence of the crystalline waters of the Great Lakes.

Our philosophy at Mackinac Straits Fish Company is simple: purchase the freshest fish available, process it quickly and efficiently, and allow natural flavors to shine through. The exceptional taste of our unique products is popular among local residents, area visitors and discriminating gourmets alike.

+ About our Founder, Jill Bentgen

Jill is a native of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with deep roots in the Mackinac Straights area. Her early food memories revolve around local, natural delicacies; fresh fish, wild berries, morel mushrooms and maple syrup.

In 1972 Jill relocated to Cheboygan, MI to work as a process engineer for Proctor & Gamble. Before transferring to corporate headquarters in Cincinatti, she secured her ties to the Upper Peninsula with the purchase of a little log cabin on the shores of the Mackinac Straights. She spent most of her career with Proctor & Gamble in the food and beverage division where she became disenchanted with the food industry’s focus on mass production and engineered ingredients. She longed to rediscover the real essence of cooking and enjoying the simple foods she remembered from her childhood. In 1985 she attended LaVerenne cooking school in Paris.

Following the retirement of Jill’s husband, the family moved to Traverse City, Michigan. Jill began advising her cousin Ben Brown, the owner of a St. Ignace fish processing business that was grappling with shrinking markets and declining prices. With the assistance of some of her Proctor & Gamble colleagues, Jill developed a line of fifteen smoked fish products that attracted new customers with great taste and economical prices. Mackinac Straits Fish Company was born!